Assisted suicide is a form of euthanasia.

Laws to legalise assisted suicide were defeated in Scotland and Westminster during 2015.

In May MSPs voted comprehensively against the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill by 82 votes to 36. The Bill sought to allow people as young as 16 to get help to kill themselves.

Those voting against the Bill included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Then in September at Westminster, MPs voted 330 to 118 against Rob Marris’ Private Members’ Bill.

The result came following pressure from disabled rights groups, the medical profession, a number of charities and religious leaders.

Serious concerns had been raised that legalising assisted suicide would pressurise the sick, elderly and vulnerable into ending their lives for fear of being a burden. Many pointed to the incremental extension of the practice in Europe, and the absence of genuine safeguards.

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